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Gheorghe Mititelu vs Mikhail Tal
WchT U26 prel-A 05th (1958), Varna BUL, rd 2, Jul-??
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Reshevsky Variation (E46)  ·  0-1



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Given 19 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-05-03  tud: Master Mititelu tells the following story about this game. At move 17 he looks deeply at the position and he feels quite comfortable. As a matter fact he has a slight advantage. How about draw, he asks ? What , Tal says, and he moves the knight at g4. Mititelu realizes he is completely lost.
Feb-29-04  Bears092: I disagree.

I think that white is OK up until 34. Nd1

34. Bh1 looks quite better

Feb-29-04  Shadout Mapes: What's the winning line after 18.Bxd8?
Feb-29-04  Benjamin Lau: Some sort of windmill but I'm not too sure what exactly. Something along the lines of 18. Bxd8 Nf2+ 19. Kg1 Nxd1+ 20. Kh1 (Kf1?? then Ne3+) Nf2+ 21. Kg1 Nxe4+ 22. Kf1 Rxd8 and black has slight advantage, but no clear win, but I don't have a board with me so I can't be sure.
Feb-29-04  Benjamin Lau: Actually, there is probably something better. 21...Nxe4+ 22. Kf1 Rxd8 just loses a knight I think.
Feb-29-04  Benjamin Lau: Perhaps 21. Kg1 in my line followed by 21...Rxd8 instead of Nxe4+ with an equal position. A perpetual check seems preferable though, since white has the psychological benefit of the queen. Any ideas to win with the windmill?
Mar-01-04  Bears092: There is no win there.
Mar-01-04  Shadout Mapes: I was thinking 18.Bxd8 Nf2+ 19.Kg1 Nxd1+ 20.Kh1 Ne3 and after the queen moves 21...Rcxd8 which looks like a position Tal could win with the knight on e3.
Mar-01-04  Shadout Mapes: Fritz came up with 18.Bxd8 Nf2+ 19.Kg1 Nxd1+ 20.Kh1 Nf2+ 21.Kg1 Rexd8 and awards black a small advantage.
Mar-01-04  crafty: 18. ♗xd8 ♘f2+ 19. ♔g1 ♘xd1+ 20. ♔h1 ♘f2+ 21. ♔g1 ♖exd8   (eval -0.70; depth 15 ply; 1000M nodes)
Aug-09-04  mack: <A perpetual check seems preferable though, since white has the psychological benefit of the queen> Doubt Tal would have been too fussed about that... I fail to see a clear win after Bxd8 too.
Dec-07-05  aw1988: It's nothing to do with a win, but White's position is extremely difficult.
Oct-16-06  Hesam7: It seems that 34. Nd1? was the losing move. After 34. Bf3!

click for larger view

Toga II gives Black only a small edge:

34... Re3 35. Ne4 Rxf3 36. Qb8 Rc8 37. Rxf3 Qg4 38. Qg3 Rc1 39. Rf1 Rxf1 40. Kxf1 Qxe4 41. Qe1 Qf3 42. Qf2 Qh1 43. Ke2 Qe4 44. Kd2 f5 45. Qe1 Qd5 46. Ke2 Qd4 47. Kf1 Kh7 48. Qe6 Qd3 49. Kf2 Qd2 50. Kf3 (eval: -0.28 @ depth 17)

Mar-17-08  Cibator: Re the best reply to 18.Bxd8: the line suggested by <Shadout Mapes:>/Fritz is given by P H Clarke on pp 11-12 of his 1961 book of Tal's games, adding that after 21...Rexd8 "Black has a very fine position".
Mar-17-08  whiteshark: So far analysed: 18.♗xd8 ♘f2+ 19.♔g1 ♘xd1+ 20.♔h1 ♘f2+ 21.♔g1 ♖exd8 22.♔f1

click for larger view

After <22...dxe4 23.♘xe4 ♘xe4 24.fxe4 ♗b6 25.♘c3 ♘b5 26.♖d1 ♖xd1+ 27.♕xd1 ♘xc3 28. bxc3 ♖xc3>

click for larger view

black maintains a (slightly) better position.

Jan-29-09  Crocomule: In V Ogon Ataki it's 17. N:e4.
Nov-03-10  sevenseaman: Tal is like a drug, he doesn't let you be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Tal's combination was unsound. 24. Rd7 maintains a winning advantage for White. The sacrifice had psychological impact but it seems that if White thought he was 'completely lost' he was thinking an playing into Tal's hands. Well I have done that in even less difficult positions, but it is not a good example of a tactically good game.

Certainly the initial 17. .. Ng4 was tempting. But not hard to find. An even more obvious idea was rejected by Tal playing Larsen after:

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 dxe5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 which looks suicidal. It was played in a match between Tal and Larsen. Tal thought for 40 minutes, suspecting a trap. However one of the main lines played by many non ex-World Champions is now:

6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qh5+ etc (the complexities should favour White overall but it is unclear)...

That Tal didn't go for the sacrifice rubs some of the hype of his image as the man of tactics and "wild" risk-taking creative genius of combinations and attacks over the board: and of being the wizard from Riga etc

Dec-01-17  ughaibu: If 24.Rd7, why not 24...Rxe2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: 25. Qd5 keeps the advantage. I used Komodo and's Stockfish.

I know it is a bit tired or almost pedantic quoting lines from computers. But it is interesting also to see that in positions that look superficially lost, or lost indeed, there are resources for the defending side. And Tal's opponent certainly wasn't "completely lost" after Tal's (ingenious but inherently unsound!) Ng4.

The point is of course that we win many of these kinds of complex games because of errors by either side. Tal probably would not have beaten Botvinnik in 1960 if he had played less 'in his own style' so to speak.

But some people think he made brilliant sacrifices in every game.

But I suppose it doesn't matter, he created some fascinating games in any case.

Dec-05-17  ughaibu: I see.

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